Updates on Testing

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Just wanted to reach out to everyone with an update on the recent testing Josh has undergone.  Last Saturday, we traveled back to Grand Rapids for a Spinal MRI and then headed there again on Wednesday for a Lumbar Puncture, Ventricle MRI (to make sure a lumbar puncture could be done safely), and had a brief consultation with Josh’s Radiation Oncologist, Dr. Mahacek.

We are happy to report that the results from those tests are in and both the Spinal MRI and the Lumbar Puncture showed no signs of abnormalities or reactive cells. This is a blessing and means that if indeed there has been any spread, it has not presently affected the spinal cord or spinal fluid.  It also means that the tests did not offer any new clues to confirm whether the two lesions in Josh’s brain are consistent with tumor regrowth or not.

The doctor’s on the “tumor board” are pretty much in agreement that visually the lesions do resemble the original tumor as they have some similar markings. But they also agree that the brain MRI alone is not enough to go by for conclusive evidence of that and they are not comfortable moving forward with any potential treatments at this point until they have more evidence.  Therefore before we reach the point where a biopsy is our only option, the board has proposed doing a more specialized  brain MRI that may give us some additional answers as to the nature of the lesions. This test will also be approximately 3 weeks after the last MRI so it will also give them an indication if anything has changed. 

We are expecting to get a call by the beginning of next week with a scheduling date for this follow up MRI.  They will also work to get a consultation with Josh’s neurosurgeon that day as well so we can discuss with him what his plan would be if a biopsy of one or both of the lesions is in the near future.

We appreciate the doctors continuing to pursue other avenues for answers before going to directly to a biopsy which is quite invasive.  We aren’t sure if this MRI will give us any conclusive answers, but we agree it is definitely worth a try before moving forward.

Thank you all so much for your continued thoughts and prayers! They mean so much to us.  We will continue to keep you all updated as we learn more.



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